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13° Nicosia,
17 November, 2018
 
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Cyprus Twitter storm over West vs Russia

Cold War flashback in hot Cyprus

Newsroom

Francis Fukuyama was wrong. The end of history did not arrive.

The debate about which political sphere of influence countries belong to is still alive and well, dividing local populations along those lines. An indication of this is the insistence of the Russian Embassy to interfere, in an undiplomatic way, in the affairs of Cyprus to a degree not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Back in 2014 the Embassy forced President Anastasiades to dismiss historian and author Makarios Drousiotis from his duties at the Presidency for a book he wrote in which he debunks the Cypriot notion that Russia has been a staunch ally of Cyprus in the events of 1974.

This time it began with an interview by Averof Neofytou, the head of the largest party in Cyprus, that is currently in government, in which he expressed in a tactful and frank way that nations pursue their interest and that in this particular conjuncture Russian and Turkish interests on energy are aligned. Neophytou repeated his stance that Cyprus as a member of the European Union belongs in the Western sphere of influence. At the same time he reiterated that he does not believe that ''the US has suddenly fallen in love with Cyprus’’, nevertheless, he explained, currently, the US and Cyprus have common interests particularly in the energy sector as the natural gas deposits of Cyprus are earmarked to be a substitute for Europe’s energy overdependence on Russia. Therefore, Neophytou argued, Russia was departing from its supportive position on the Cyprus problem as it is advancing her collaboration with Turkey.

In a statement in its Facebook page the Russian Embassy said that Russia’s principled stance on Cyprus has not changed and that “apparently, some partners of the Republic of Cyprus would like to drive a wedge between Russia and Cyprus in order to deter Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean region”.

The head of the leftist party AKEL Andros Kyprianou was quick to react, voicing his support for Russia and twitting that Nephytou’s party was supporting the US in 1974 and that that approach led to the tragic events of the invasion.

Neophytou responded by twitting that Kyprianou and his supporters would be hanging from the fences of the American Embassy had the US been the country constructing the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey, referring to the construction by Russia of the nuclear power plant located just 90 km north of Cyprus on the Turkish coast. 

Double standards and predispositions aside, one can only wonder what future historians will write about us.

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